Anaea andria Scudder, 1875
NatureServe Global Rank: G4G5
Virginia State Rank: S1
VA DGIF Tier: None
Federal Legal Status: None
Virginia Legal Status: None
Description: The dorsal side of the Goatweed Leafwing is a bright red-orange with intergrading gray borders on the outside edges of both front and back wings. There can be variable darker markings within the red-orange area. The ventral side is a gray-brown with some darker coloring, resembling a dead leaf. The front wing apex forms an acute point and there are small tails on the hind wing.
Similar species: The Goatweed Leafwing is quite distinct in our area, only distantly resembling the Question Mark and Commas in wing shape and activity. The shape of the wing edges and color of both the dorsal and ventral sides clearly differentiate the Goatweed Leafwing from the others when at rest, and they may be only vaguely similar in flight.
North American Range: In the East, it can be found mainly on the western side of the southern Appalachians south to northern Florida. It is much more widespread in the west from the Midwest to Wyoming south into Mexico. In Virginia, viable populations are likely restricted to areas where its hostplant occurs. There was, however, a recorded sighting from Radford, VA (Southern Lepidopterists' News, 2008) but it is unlikely to be a reproducing population there.
VA Observations by Locality: Lee | Lee
Flight season and broods: Usually double-brooded with one occurring in the early to mid- spring, and the second in late summer-fall.
Habitat and Food Plants: Dry, open forests and scrub areas are preferred, but may also be found in disturbed open areas. This species uses various Croton species depending upon different parts of its range. Croton monathogynus, or goatweed, is the most likely hostplant in Virginia. Native populations of C. monathogynus are restricted to the extreme southwestern counties of the state (Weakly et al., 2012).
Behavior and Ecology: Individuals perch on tree branches and trunks, often high above the ground, usually along open corridors. Males will fight territorial battles. They have a very fast flight and make a hollow clicking noise while flying. Goatweed Leafwings are attracted to sap, dung and rotting material and do not visit flowers to take nectar.
Population trend and potential threats: It is more common in the west, but in the east is slightly more specialized in habitat. Destruction of potential habitat would threaten this species' well-being in the East.
Management practices: There are no management practices specifically for the Goatweed Leafwing.
References: Cech, R. and G. Tudor. 2005. Butterflies of the East Coast. Pg. 250. Princeton University Press.
Opler, P. A. 1992. A Field Guide to Eastern Butterflies. Peterson Field Guides
Pyle, R. M. 1981. Field Guide to North American Butterflies. National Audubon Society.
Southern Lepidopterists' News. 2008. Season Summary (June).
Weakly, A.S, J.C. Ludwig, and J.F. Townsend. 2012. Flora of Virginia. Bland Crowder, ed. Foundation of the Flora of Virginia Project., Richmond. Forth Worth: Botanical Research Institute of Texas Press.
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, 600 E. Main St., 24th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219
This atlas was compiled
by the VA Natural Heritage Program with funds provided by the VA Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries through a state wildlife grant
from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Last Modified: Friday, 26 February 2021, 03:21:56 PM